North Carolina Counties
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North Carolina Counties

North Carolina is divided into one hundred counties. The establishment of North Carolina counties stretches over 240 years, beginning in 1668 with the creation of Albemarle County and ending with the 1911 creation of Avery and Hoke counties. Five counties have been divided or abolished altogether, the last being Dobbs County in 1791.

Burke County, North Carolina

Burke County Education, Geography, and HistoryBurke County, North Carolina Courthouse

Burke County is a county located in the state of North Carolina. As of 2010 census, the population was 90,912. Its county seat is Morganton.

Burke County is part of the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Burke County Name

It was named in honor of Dr. Thomas Burke, a member of the Continental Congress and governor of North Carolina, 1781-1782.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Burke County History

Burke was formed in 1777 from Rowan. The act was to become effective June 1, 1777. It was named in honor of Dr. Thomas Burke, a member of the Continental Congress and governor of North Carolina, 1781-1782. It is in the west central section of the State and is bounded by Catawba, Cleveland, Rutherford, McDowell, Avery and Caldwell counties. The present land area is 506.72 square miles and the 2000 population was 89,145. The act establishing Burke specified that the first court was to be held at a place the justices should decide until they selected a permanent place for the courthouse and had the same erected. In 1784 Morgansborough was established and made the county seat. Morganton is the present county seat.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 515 square miles (1,330 km2), of which 507 square miles (1,310 km2) is land and 8.0 square miles (21 km2) (1.5%) is water. The county contains portions of two lakes: Lake James along its western border with McDowell County and Lake Rhodhiss along its northeastern border with Caldwell County.

Table Rock, a prominent peak in the county in the east rim of Linville Gorge, part of Pisgah National Forest, has been described as "the most visible symbol in the region".

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Avery County - northwest
  • Caldwell County - north
  • Catawba County - east
  • Lincoln County - southeast
  • Cleveland County - south
  • McDowell County - west
  • Rutherford County - southwest


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